Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the ligament that connects the heel of a person’s foot to his toes i.e. plantar fascia. The most common symptoms of plantar fasciitis include pain and stiffness at the bottom of the heel. However, pain isn’t just limited to that area as some patients have complained about a stabbing pain at the bottom mid-foot area as well.
What Cause and Treat It
Plantar Fasciitis occurs in professional athletes when they switch from one track to another. However, middle-aged and especially overweight people may also develop this problem over time.
There are many remedies to overcome the pain of plantar fasciitis such as icing the injured foot and using athletic footwear. However, most experts recommend taping the heel of the foot so as to minimize the level of stress felt on the plantar fascia. Taping doesn’t have to be done by professional physiotherapists and can be done in the comfort of your home.
The simplest taping method is to start by taking a strip of athletic tape and applying it gently to the metatarsal area. After that, you should use another strip around the heel area and join this to the taped metatarsal.
Next, wrap a piece of tape again around the ball of the foot and make sure it passes through the center of the bottom of the foot diagonally before making it turn at the heel and running it back diagonally through the center. This should result in the formation of X at the mid-foot area, which helps in easing the stress felt at the plantar fascia.
As this X shape is essential to the success of taping, it should be repeated at least three times so that it offers a rigid support to the ligament without stretching it. Once you have repeatedly bandaged the X across the metatarsal region, finish taping your heel by applying long, vertical strips across the foot to cloak the previous taping patterns. When finished, the plantar region of your foot should be completely covered with tape.
It should be noted that taping works even better when coupled with stretching exercises and using footwear that has been designed solely for the purpose of reducing stress caused by plantar fasciitis such as the ASICS Kayano 21 and the New Balance 990v3 (check out the full list of the best running and walking shoes for plantar fasciitis).
However, Dr. Timothy W. Flynn and Dr. Terry Gebhardt state that stretching the plantar fascia and calf muscles coupled with decreasing activity can aid in easing the pain. They also recommend addressing the issue by creating arch support to assist the degenerated plantar fascia.